Natural wines are one of the hottest items in the field of food and wine - displacing molecular gastronomy, foraging and super-chefs from the front pages.
Natural wines are wines where the vineyards have been treated with respect using organic or biodynamic practices. But this is not enough. In this modern era there are just so many chemicals introduced during the winemaking process as well.
Natural wines are created without the use of commercial yeasts which stamp their deadening flavour on all wines in which they are used. No enzymes are added, or sugars or colours or oak chips or anything else that is used to artificially bolster the flavour of wine. Also technology is eschewed. Micro-oxygenation, reverse osmosis and other new processes for 'adjusting' wine are not used for natural wines.
All this would be for nought if the resultant wines did not taste delicious. But they do! Converts to natural wines find it very hard to return to commercial-yeast-stamped wines. They relish the freshness of the wines and yearn for the excitement of opening a new bottle to discover the difference - not the predictability - of the new experience.
At foodtourist.com we have long been lovers of natural wines following an epiphany with a Raveneau Chablis in Paris in 1998. Our hard-core conversion from that has been gradual however, then reaching a crescendo in the last five years as we have discovered more and more delightful treasures that fit this description.
And we have also been lucky enough to have a winemaker of immense talent in our home state of Tasmania who has decided to buck the trend and produce natural wines on his tiny estate in the far southern regions of this magic isle. The d'Meure wines show the way for others who might like to let the earth and the vines and the fruit speak for themselves.
So, our search for natural wines has resulted in us finding many restaurants that serve these wines, wine stores that specialise in them, wine bars (mainly in Paris and New York) that proudly promote them and importers and distributors where you can find them.
Articles on the natural wine movement
We have written an article explaining what natural wines are and some places where you can find them. You can access this article from the link below.
We have also been contemplating the role that oxygen and the level of oxidative treatment that occurs in some wines plays in our enjoyment of wine. Our reflections are published here:
Restaurants and bars serving natural wines
More and more, we’re only interested in eating and drinking in places that serve natural wines. But that’s not enough – the food has to be good too. These restaurants and bars have at least some very good natural wines on their wine list and serve very good food in the style they champion. They are in no particular order.
There are some obvious ones missing from the list - we simply haven't had a chance to visit them yet. As soon as we visit others we will add them to the list, so this is a living document that will change as we discover other delights in different corners of the globe, just as we recently discovered the tiny but fantastic La Cabane a Vin in Hong Kong, Anfora in New York and the Tasting Kitchen in Los Angeles.
Vivant is the showcase for the food and natural wine espoused by Paul Jancou who sold Racines two years ago and moved out of Paris. Now he is back in this tiny, yet stunning space with great food and all of the favourites from the natural wine world.
Read a full review here: Vivant Table - Paris
Vivant Cave is next door to its older sibling and serves simpler food but the same selection of natural wines most of which have no added sulphur. It is a great place to hang out in Paris.
Read a full review here: Vivant Cave - Paris
Le Comptoir - Paris
Le Comptoir is where Yves Camdeborde serves up his delicious food to locals and food tourists who wait patiently in next-door l'Avant Comptoir for a table to become available. The wine list is reasonably-priced and packed with stars of the natural wine movement such as Thierry Puzelat and Herve Villemade from Touraine, Domaine Valettte from Macon, Alice and Olivier de Moor from Chablis and Audrey and Christian Binner from Alsace to name but a few.
Read a full review here: Le Comptoir - Paris
NOMA - Copenhagen
NOMA deserves its place as the number 1 restaurant in the world. The food is delicious, the atmosphere relaxed and the service sharp and attentive. Natural wines are common on the wine list including offerings from Domaine Mosse in Anjou and Fanny Sabre from Beaune. But the real strength here lies in the grower Champagnes including hard-to-find offerings from domaines such as Andre Beaumont.
Read a full review here: NOMA - Copenhagen
l'Avant Comptoir - Paris
Surely this must be one of the hottest spots in Paris at the moment! Designed as a space to 'park' diners waiting for a table next door at Le Comptoir, it has since taken on a life of its own with people treating it as a venue in its own right - a place to enjoy lovely tapas dishes and the best natural wines France has to offer, sold at very reasonable prices.
Read a full review here: l'Avant Comptoir - Paris
There are two compelling reasons for visiting the exciting Garagistes in Tasmania's capital, Hobart. The first is to experience the produce-driven cooking of chef Luke Burgess and the second is to drool over Katrina Birchmeier's cleverly-crafted 46 pages of predominantly natural wines from small producers, a selection of which are offered by the glass. Look for offerings from Jean-Francois Ganevat, La Paonnerie, Henri Milan, Nicolas Carmarans, Philippe Bornard, Dominique Belluard, Herve Souhart, Axel Prufer and many more in this stellar line-up.
Read a full review here: Garagistes - Hobart, Tasmania
Sidecar - Hobart
Sidecar is another venture for the owners of nearby Garagistes, the incredibly popular no-bookings restaurant where eager foodies gather to sample the stunning food and amazing natural wines on offer there. Sidecar is now the place where diners go to have a drink and a snack while waiting for their table. It is also a welcome addition to the Hobart bar scene due to the interesting selection of local and imported natural wines (many by the glass) and cleverly-selected distilled drinks that are available.
Read a full review here: Sidecar - Hobart, Tasmania
Bones - Paris
Bones is a great venue in Paris - both for James Henry's excellent cooking and the strong range of natural wines on offer. It is also becoming very popular because of the front bar which doesn't take reservations, so you can drop in any time for a glass of natural wine or a snack that might include freshly shucked oysters or sea urchins or a pork sandwhich sliced from a roast pig sitting on the counter!
Read a full review here: Bones - Paris
Relae - Copenhagen
Relae is a very good restaurant tucked away in the emerging Jaegersborggade food street in Copenhagen which it shares with other food and wine luminaries such as Manfreds and the Coffee Collective. The menu is sparse, offering a non-vegetarian and a vegetarian option of four dishes plus an optional cheese course. The food is matched to suggested wines by the glass and these wines are chosen from their extensive range of natural wines which are invariably delicious.
Read a full review here: Relae - Copenhagen
Manfreds & Vin - Copenhagen
Manfreds & Vin is one of our very favourite places in Copenhagen. This is a place where we can hang out until very late at night enjoying the food, the company and the excellent range of natural wines.
Read a full review here: Manfreds & Vin - Copenhagen
Saturne - Paris
Saturne has become one of our favourite restaurants in Paris due to Sven Chartier's wonderful food and Ewan Lemoigne's great selection of edgy, natural wines.
Read a full review here: Saturne - Paris
The Ten Bells
On our most recent visit to New York Ten Bells became a familiar haunt. We just loved the buzz and the informality here. We also loved the friendly staff and their willingness to find the right wine for us every time. Whether the night started with a Causses Marines delightful Preamboules or a Movia Tokai or finished with a Dard et Ribo Saint Joseph the selections were all immensely satisfying.
Read a full review here: The Ten Bells - New York
Aux Crieurs de Vin
You would expect a wine bar in the centre of the Champagne district to serve champagnes, but what has grabbed our attention is the number of natural champagnes on offer here. When we looked at the list we noticed the wines of Jérôme Prévost, Ulysse Collin and Jacques Selosse among many others that are either organic or biodynamic or natural. However there is more than sparklers on offer here. There are also offerings from Yvon Metras, Marcel Lapierre and Philippe Pacalet heading a stellar range of the natural superstars of France. We recently spent a very convivial evening meal here with friends from Champagne who are natural wine producers. We left it to the staff to select the wines and we were treated to an array of some of the most interesting natural wines in the country.
Read a full review here: Aux Crieurs du Vin - Troyes
Les Becs à Vin - Orleans
Les Becs à Vin is a favourite haunt in the Loire Valley city of Orleans. It stocks only natural wines and the food is simple but very tasty.
Here we have enjoyed a bottle of Macon from Gilles and Catherine Verge with a salad of lentils and a Domaine le Briseau Les Mortiers Coteaux du Loire with a rabbit parmentier. They also stock wines from Herve Villemade including his exciting Romorantin from Cour Cheverny, the pure Burgundian wines of Dominique Derain, the Gaillac wines of Plageoles and the funky Loire wines of Olivier Lemasson.
Read a full review here: Les Becs a Vin - Orleans, France
Ribouldingue - Paris
Ribouldingue is a favourite haunt of ours in Paris because they serve brilliant dishes of offal here. But we also like the fact that many of the wines are made naturally. Look for Chateau Sainte Anne from Bandol, Domaine Gramenon from the Rhone, Philippe Pacalet from Burgundy, Dard et Ribo from St Joseph and Bruno Duchene from Collioure in this stellar line up. On our last visit they even had a Vatan Sancerre available!
Read a full review here: Ribouldingue - Paris
A hip restaurant in Paris serving modern, delicious and very well-priced food. There is an interesting selection of natural wines available, many by the glass. On our most recent trip to Paris we had a truly excellent lunch here along with some wonderful wines.
Read a full review here: Au Passage - Paris
Lou on Vine
Lou on Vine is heavily into alternate grape varieties and natural wines such as the Oliver Guyot Marsannay (he ploughs his vineyard using a horse) or the Foillard Côte du Py or the luscious Saumur Champigny from Thierry Germain or the biodynamic Borie la Vitarèle. Grape varieties such as Frappato, Sagratino and Ruché dot the menu.
We thoroughly enjoyed a night here recently discussing natural wines with convivial owner Lou Amdur and natural wine supplier Amy Atwood.
Lou has now sold this venue but we hope the new owners keep the natural wines thing happening.
Trio in Malmo, Sweden is now closed, but when we ate there it did have a nice collection of natural wines.
The Tasting Kitchen
The Tasting Kitchen in Venice Beach, California (which is not too far from the LA airport) has an amazing selection of mainly Italian wines many of which are natural. From Sicily the sparkling Di Conciliis Fiano from Campania and Salvo Foti's natural wines. We loved our meal here which saw us taste our way through 15 delicious wines, many of which had alluring oxidative qualities.
Read a full review here: Tasting Kitchen, Venice Beach, California
Coinstot Vino - Paris
Coinstot Vino is a pleasant wine bar in the Passages de Panorama - just along from Racines. Look for stars such as the Crozes Hermitage white from Dard et Ribo, the Burgundies from Prieure Roch and Fanny Sabre and the Alsace wines from Audrey and Christian Binner.
Read a full review here: Coinstot Vino - Paris
Le Temps des Vendages - Toulouse
This cosy wine shop and restaurant is one of the best places for sourcing French natural wines that we have found anywhere. The owner is very knowledgeable and very helpful. He is always willing to recommend wines to your specification. Wines such as the Camarans Mauvais Temps, Bruno Duchene's delicious reds from Collioure, Souhart's lovely Syrah from the Ardeche and a range of Domaine Mosse wines grace the shelves along with most of the best of French natural wines.
Read a full review here: Le Temps des Vendages - Toulouse
Chai Christine Cannac - Bedarieux
You find Chai Christine Cannac in the hills behind Beziers, France in the pleasant village of Bedarieux. We go here for the wonderful selection of natural wines that includes local hero Axel Prufer and the bougnettes - Aveyron meatballs made from leftover pigs parts that is sliced, fried and served on toast. Very delicious!
Read a full review here: Chai Christine Cannac - Bedarieux
Terroir - New York
Terroir now has two sites in New York, the original next to Hearth and the new one in the TriBeCa district. Terroir is one of our favourite places on earth! The wine list is amazing, the waiting staff are frighteningly knowledgeable and the food is terrific. We have had a number of very enjoyable late nights here learning about wine. The wine list is not exclusively natural but there are enough natural wines here to make it a great place to learn about them.
Read a full review here: Terroir - New York
Aux Deux Amis - Paris
Aux Deux Amis is a newcomer to the Paris dining scene. It is informal, lively and serves some of the best biodynamic and natural wines from throughout France. And the food and wine are very reasonably priced.
Read a full review here: Aux Deux Amis - Paris
Le Jeu de Quilles, Paris
Le Jeu de Quilles is more like a dining club than a restaurant. The locals who drop in here for lunch know the owner who cooks in an open kitchen that allows him to converse freely with the diners. The wine list is short but well selected with Damien Coquelet's Chiroubles, the Breton's "La Dilettante" and Domaine Valette's Macon-Chaintre as stand-outs.
Read a full review here: Le Jeu de Quilles - Paris
Diner - Brooklyn
Diner in Brooklyn is a delightful corner location where the food is interesting, the service very professional and the wine list presents a number of stars of the natural wine movement such as Guy Breton and George Descombes from Beaujolais and Olivier Cousin from the Loire.
Read a full review here: Diner - Brooklyn
Hearth - New York
Hearth is where we go to experience the sensational cooking of Marco Canora. He applies his cooking skills to dishes that are honest and comforting rather than tricked up. This is just the sort of food we crave. The wine list ranges across many of the great value wines of the world including natural wines such as Le Grand Blanc by Henri Milan of Provence, the Rieslings of Pichler from Austria and Frank Cornelissen and Occhipinti of Sicily.
Read a full review here: Hearth - New York
Bentley Restaurant and Bar - Sydney
Bentley Restaurant and Bar is now closed but you can experience the same hospitality and the same wines at their new venue in Potts Point called Monopole.
Le Chateaubriand - Paris
Le Chateaubriand is on a roll. It is in the top fifty restaurant list from Restaurant Magazine and is packed with hopeful diners every night. While we are not enamoured by the consistency of the food we love the place and we love the wine offerings.
Read a full review here: Le Chateaubriand - Paris
Café de la Nouvelle Mairie - Paris
Café de la Nouvelle Mairie is an authentic Paris bistro with a very natural wine list. A very good selection of natural wines by the glass is chalked on a blackboard. Expect to find wines such as Gramenon, Mosse, Robinot, Herve Souhart, Causse Marines and many more of the leaders of the natural wine movement as well as wines made by former owner Nicolas Carmarans on his vineyard in the Massive Central of central France.
Read a full review here: Café de la Nouvelle Mairie - Paris
Chez Remi - Angers, France
Chez Remi in Angers in France's Loire Valley is a tiny restaurant with an open kitchen that has a small, but wonderful, natural wine list. Look for the Les Capriades from Pascale Potaire, the whites from Agnes and Rene Mosse or the Morgon from Jean Foillard.
Chez Remi is currently undergoing a transformation and is moving opposite Cercle Rouge in the centre of the old town. It may even be renamed - we will keep a close watch.
Read a full review here: Chez Remi - Angers, France
L'Herbe Rouge - Valaire, France
Valaire is a tiny town between Blois and Tours on the southern side of the Loire. No major roads go near this village so you have to make an effort to go here. The wines of local natural wine gurus Thierry Puzelat and Herve Villemade feature prominently. A meal is May 2011 was very satisfying. They also have spacious rooms above the restaurant if you want to stay in the area. On our visit the people at the next table were drinking the very natural sans soufre Gamay from Domaine la Paonnerie from Coteaux d'Ancenis.
Read a full review here: L'Herbe Rouge - Valaire, France
Les Papilles - Paris
This lively 'cave a manger' has tables arranged in front of the wine racks. You choose a wine and then settle back to enjoy a fixed menu of delicious food. Look for natural wines such as the Loire's star performers the Bretons.
Read a full review here: Les Papilles, Paris
Racines - Paris
A great place for adventurous natural wine and some very good food. Some of the produce is sourced from the Arpege garden. Pierre Jancou has sold this venue to David Lanher but the natural wine philosophy is being maintained and chef Sven Chartier is turning out excellent food.
Read a full review here: Racines, Paris
Le Bistrot Paul Bert - Paris
This venue has the feel of a traditional bistro while having a very modern wine list packed with the stars of the natural wine movement. On our last visit we thoroughly enjoyed a Souhart Syrah from the Ardeche.
Read a full review here: Le Bistrot Paul Bert, Paris
Le Baratin - Paris
Le Baratin was one of the first bistros in Paris to move to an all-natural wine list. The food is simply presented and very good and the wine selection is amazing. Just leave the selection to the sommelier and you won't be disappointed.
Read our review here: Le Baratin
Marlow & Sons - Brooklyn
Marlow & Sons is a cosy, crowded and charming restaurant crouching below the Williamsburg Bridge. The food is cooked with skill, the service is friendly and professional and the wine list a roll call of the best natural winemakers in France.
Read our review here: Marlow & Sons
Vigne en Foule - Gaillac
Vigne en foule is named after a very old method of close planting grape vines that has long since been abandoned in France. This very pleasant bistro in the centre of Gaillac serves up very smart food at amazing prices. The wine list highlights the growing number of natural wine makers in south west France and beyond.
The team of owners are chef Julien Bourdaries, local distiller Laurent Cazottes, Fabien Loubiere and vignerons Bernard Plageoles, Patrice Lescarret and Michael Issaly.
Read a full review here: Vigne en Foule, Gaillac
El Xadic del Mar - Banyuls sur Mer
This is a wine bar in Banyuls (on the French Mediterranean coast quite close to the border with Spain) which has been on our list to visit for a long time. It was opened by Emmanuel Desclaux who used to run one of our favourite haunts, Verre Vole in Paris. When we walked in there was Alain Castex from Casot des Mailloies, Bruno Duchene and a number of other local natural winemakers all enjoying a long Sunday lunch. The selection of natural wines and the pleasant company was such that we stayed until well into the evening!
11, av. du Puig-del-Mas, Banyuls Sur Mer Ph +33 4 68 88 89 20
This is a bar and restaurant in the Roppongi district of Tokyo that has been serving natural wines for over a decade. We read about it on the wonderful Wine Terroirs blog recently and were determined to visit. We walked through the door then ordered an Hirotaki wine and immediately tastes of other wines started to appear at our table. It became a very long and very enjoyable night!
Read a full review here: Shonzui - Tokyo
L'Entree des Artistes - Paris
l'Entree des Artistes is a tiny bar in the rue de Crussol in the tres fashionable 11th. Here two passionate young men (Edouard Vermynck and Fabien Lombardi) have created a space that is built on three firm pillars of excellence. Fabien is a mixologist who turns out classic martinis including a killer negroni. Edouard is a sommelier who has a passion for natural wine. Together with Edouard's mother they also have lined up some excellent food that is a level above standard bar fare.
Read a full review here: l'Entree des Artistes - Paris
O Vins d'Anges - Lyon
O Vins d'Anges in Lyon, France is both a wine store and a cave a manger where you can order simple dishes such as charcuterie and cheese supplied by some excellent producers. The natural wine arranged around the walls is an exciting representation of the best of the French natural wine community.
Read a full review here: O Vins d'Anges - Lyon
Les Vins de Maurice - Beaune
Les Vins de Maurice has become a gathering place for lovers of natural wine
in Beaune, the strategically-placed town in the centre of Burgundy. We first
heard about it from Alice Feiring, who in turn had learned about it from Fanny
Sabre, the young Burgundian winemaker.
The wine list has been put together by Maurice, the owner, and it is an extensive selection from many parts of France, with particular strength in Burgundian cuvees.
You can select a bottle from the cave and they will open it for a modest surcharge on takeaway prices. You can then order from the short selection of dishes which include excellent charcuterie and cheeses but also beautifully made savoury and sweet tarts.
Read a full review here: Les Vins de Maurice - Beaune
Les Vins de la Cadette - Saint-Pere
Les Vins de la Cadette is the bar and bottleshop for Domaine de la Cadette and Domaine Montanet-Thoden. Housed in an old garage on the outskirts of the quaint village of Saint Pere this is a place where you can buy the delicious natural wines made by Jean, Catherine and Valentin Montanet or simply stop here for a glass of wine and a snack while enjoying the view on the terrace which looks towards the perched village of Vezelay.
Read a full review here: Les Vins de la Cadette - Saint Pere
Les Jardins de St-Vincent - Arbois
Les Jardins de St-Vincent is a small wine shop and wine bar run by natural wine enthusiast Stephane Planche. If you would like a glass of wine ask him for a recommendation as he is passionate about his offerings and eager to share his knowledge.
Read a full review here: Les Jardins de St-Vincent
Essencia in the Jura village of Poligny specialises in just two items - natural wine and the very best of regional cheese. When you walk into this Aladdin's cave you will be surrounded by some of the finest natural wine of the Jura region and beyond. You will also be within reach of some of the finest Comte cheese we have ever eaten.
Read a full review here: Essencia
Bistrot des Claquets
Bistrot des Claquets is a charming restaurant/bistro in the pretty Jura village of Arbois. It has a number of attractions. First it opens from early in the morning till late at night. Second it serves very good, hearty food that is a cut above average for country France. Last it has a great range of local (Jura) and other natural wines. The service is charming as an added bonus.
Read a full review here: Bistrot des Claquets
La Pointe du Groin - Paris
La Pointe du Groin is a buzzing new place quite close to the Gare du Nord in Paris. It is the latest venue for Thierry Breton and is in between his two restaurants. Expect to find some stellar natural wines served from magnums here.
Read a full review here: La Pointe du Groin
Bar Agricole - San Francisco
Bar Agricole is a very smart bar and restaurant in San Francisco where all aspects of the experience including the food, the service, the cocktails and the smart wine list come together to provide a perfect dining experience.
The list of wines is impressive ranging from Pinon to Bea to Huet to Jacques Puffeney to Alice and Olivier de Moor to Benito Santos to Occhipinti and many more stars of the natural wine movement.
Read a full review here: Bar Agricole, San Francisco
Commonwealth - San Francisco
Commonwealth is a jewel in the San Francisco dining firmament. The food is focussed, friendly and exciting, the restaurant is a pleasant space to be in and the service is friendly, caring and clever. This is a San Francisco 'must visit' restaurant!
And there is a fiar smattering of very natural wines including those from iconoclast local winemaker Sean Thackrey along with Broc Cellars and the Scholium Project, from the Jura there is Philippe Bornard, from Austria Claus Preisinger and many more.
Read a full review here: Commonwealth, San Francisco
La Cave Voltaire - Chinon
La Cave Voltaire is a small natural wine shop in Chinon a couple of blocks from the centre. It deals only in natural wines and the proprietor, Patrice Claire, is passionate about the wines he sells, most of which are from the central Loire.
Read a full review here: La Cave Voltaire - Chinon
Casse-Cailloux - Tours
Casse-Cailloux is a charming bistro in the Loire Valley city of Tours. The food is cooked with skill, the front-of-house service is charming and efficient and the wine list packed with heroes of the natural wine movement.
Read a full review here: Casse-Cailloux - Tours
1889 Enoteca Vinaio
This enoteca and wine bar is partly owned by the same people who operate the Addley Clark wine import business. They specialise in natural wines from all parts of Italy. Among their portfolio are standouts such as the wines from the Bera family, the Radikon range and the Occhipinti from Sicily. We enjoyed two great meals here on our most recent trip to Brisbane.
10-12 Logan Road Wooloongabba, Brisbane, Queensland 07 3392 4361
Autour d'Un Cep - Angers
Autour d'Un Cep is a pleasant restaurant in Angers in France's Loire Valley serving beautifully cooked food and a great selection of natural wines.
Read a full review here: Autour d'un Cep
Le Repaire de Cartouche - Paris
Repaire de Cartouche is a gem of a restaurant in the 11th. The engaging owner directs proceedings to ensure that guests have a great time. The food is wonderful while being relatively reasonably priced. You will revel in the natural wine selection available here which includes some with a bit of age.
Read our review here: Le Repaire de Cartouche
Le Potager des Halles - Lyon
This delightful bistro is the home to some very good cooking. It is also home to some very good wines with local heroes such as Jean Paul Brun and Yvon Métras represented (Brun with his fascinating 'In Extremis' which we matched with a dessert). Natural wines don't dominate here but the food is very good and you can choose some good wine options.
Read a full review here: Le Potager des Halles, Lyon, France
La Cremerie - Paris
La Cremerie is one of the originals of the natural wine movement - it rose to prominence under Pierre Jancou before he moved on to Racines. This wine shop also serves snacks such as very good charcuterie while you explore the range of natural wines on the shelves.
Read a full review here: La Cremerie - Paris
Terroirs - Charing Cross, London
Terroirs is a very serious venue for natural wines. You can drop in here for a drink and a snack and choose from an interesting selection of natural wine by the glass or from the extensive selection of bottles on the list. The wine list is also packed full of information and intelligent comment.
Read a full review here: Terroirs - Charing Cross, London
Terroir Natural Wine Merchants - San Francisco
On our trips to San Francisco we always make a point of dropping into Terroirs Natural Wine Bar to enjoy some natural wines. Their selection is eclectic and interesting. We love the bottles from Mikulski in Burgundy with their hand written labels, however this is just one example from a stellar line up.
Read a full review here: Terroir Natural Wine Merchant - San Francisco
121BC - Sydney
121BC is another venture for the Vini group. They have created the Italian equivalent of a 'cave a manger' where you can buy a focussed selection of impressive, mainly natural wines from the length and breadth of Italy as well as joining others at the communal table to graze on the selection of perfectly executed dishes on offer.
Read a full review here: 121BC - Sydney
Monopole - Sydney
Monopole is Sydney's Potts Point is the latest venture for the dynamic duo, Nick Hildebrandt as sommelier/front of house and Brent Savage as executive chef. The wine selection is mind blowing and many of the favourites of the natural wine community can be found here.
Read a full review here: Monopole - Sydney
Sixpenny - Sydney
Sixpenny is definitely worth the short train ride from the centre of Sydney to the inner west suburb of Stanmore. It doesn't take very long but the benefits are clear once you walk the short distance from the train station to this charming, tiny ,corner establishment. The food is fantastic and the wine list celebrates many of the natural wines that we love to drink.
Read a full review here: Sixpenny - Sydney
Mary's - Sydney
Mary's is one of the most exciting bars in Australia. Walk in and order a beer - they have lots of exciting new producers. After you have sunk one or two or three your thoughts mind wander towards a wine to match to the excellent food turned out of the kitchen here. Turn around and face the wall and there are many, many excellent natural wines listed on the blackboard. What a wonderful place!
Read a full review here: Mary's - Sydney
Le Verre Vole - Paris
Le Verre Vole is a great place for a delicious meal and a wine chosen from their wines by the glass or one of the many natural wines that you can find by browsing the shelves. You will find the best of the best from the natural wine movement here. They also have a store with a similar selection at 38 rue Oberkampf just opposite Aux Deux Amis.
Read a full review here: Le Verre Vole - Paris
Le Chapeau Melon - Paris
Le Chapeau Melon is a favourite Parisian haunt of ours. It was here that we discovered the wines of Lemasson and years ago tried our first Overnoy. The food is interesting and fairly priced making for a very pleasant evening. You can also buy wine to take away here.
Read a full review here: Le Chapeau Melon - Paris
Le Bonheur Suit Son Cours - Vaison-la-Romaine
This little wine bar and bistro in a side street in the tourist town of Vaison-la-Romaine is resolutely committed to natural wines. They have even persuaded some of the best natural wine makers to bottle wine for them under the 100% Jus label. In May 2011 we had a very good, simple lunch here accompanied by some great natural wines.
Read a full review here: Le Bonheur Suit Son Cours - Vaison-la-Romaine, France
Le Cercle Rouge - Angers
Le Cercle Rouge is a wine bar in the very centre of the old part of Angers that is associated with the nearby Chez Remi. The wines here are all natural and some are difficult to find elsewhere. We keep going back here to learn about new producers which they always seem to be first to feature. A great place!
Read a full review here: Le Cercle Rouge - Angers, France
Le Tourne au Verre - Cairanne
Le Tourne au Verre in the southern Rhone town of Cairanne has always been a favourite watering hole. They always have local selections such as the wine of Richaud and alary (who are within walking distance) but we were delighted on our recent visit to find that the stunning Edmond Vatan Clos la Neore was on the list.
Read a full review here: Le Tourne au Verre, Cairanne, France
Fix St James - Sydney
Fix St James is gradually undergoing a metamorphosis - it is emerging chrysalis-like into a natural wine venue with a number of stellar offerings on the interesting list.
Read a full review here: Fix St James, Sydney
Spring - Paris
Spring is back in action at a new location. Run by American Daniel Rose this is a very good venue. There is a downstairs bar as well with a well-selected range of natural wines.
Read our review here: Spring
Brawn is a relatively new wine-focussed restaurant in London from the people who established Terroirs some years ago. The wine list is loaded with an interesting selection of natural wines including some smaller producers that have not received much exposure. We also very much enjoyed the food here on our recent visit.
49 Columbia Road, London E2, Ph: 020 7729 5692
Soif Wine Bar & Merchants
The long and impressive wine list at SOIF (soif means thirst in French) contains many interesting biodynamic and natural wines ranging from the Occhipinti "Il Frappato" and "Siccagno" from Sicily, to the Bera wines from Piedmont in northern Italy, to Domaine de la Tournelle from Arbois. The food does not reach the same stellar heights as the wine list, but this is a great place to drop in and buy a bottle of your favourite wine to take out and a good place to drop in for a drink.
Pourtal Wine Tasting Bar
Pourtal in Santa Monica has 40 wines by the 'ounce' due to the installation of an Enomatic system that keeps the wine in good condition after the bottle has been opened as well as dispensing exactly one ounce of wine. The wine list marks each wine as being natural or certified biodynamic or organic. Try the Pierre Gimonnet Brut "Blanc de Blancs" NV Champagne or the La Biancara di Angiolino Maule Masieri Blanc from the Veneto or the Occhipinti "SP68" Rosso di Vittoria from Sicily.
On a recent visit we enjoyed wines from Philippe Bornard (Les Chassagnes), Thierry Michon and Lopez de Heredia.
Pre en Bulle - Albi
Pre en Bulle has a very good selection of natural wines by the glass and by the bottle. It is an unprepossessing venue but a great place to relax at one of the outside tables and enjoy the sunshine.
Read our review here: Pre en Bulle
Out the Door - San Francisco
Out the Door in Bush St (there are two others) is a favourite breakfast/brunch place for us now. This place seems to have recaptured some of the vibe of the old Slanted Door and is serving some excellent food and, of course, their trademark excellent wine selection including some excellent natural wines.
Read our review here: Out the Door
Le Dauphin - Paris
Le Dauphin is the latest venture for Paris icon Inaki Aizpitarte nearly next door to his impossibly hip Le Chateaubriand. Like his original restaurant the wine list is very natural, however the food makes more of a nod towards the French classics hence we find the food more satisfying here.
Read our review here: Le Dauphin
Ved Stranden 10 - Copenhagen
Ved Stranden 10 is a cool and relaxing wine bar in Copenhagen that has a very interesting selection of natural wines including offerings from Fanny Sabre, Philippe Pacalet, Catherine and Pierre Breton, Francois Chidaine and many more.
Read our review here: Ved Stranden 10
Wine shops where you can find natural wines
Here are some examples of places that we have visited and reviewed where you you can source natural wines. We will add to this list over the coming months and there are some more wine shops below in the descriptions of places we haven't visited yet.
Places we have heard about but haven't visited yet
There are many places that we have read about that have a good selection of natural wines, but haven't had a chance to visit. We have included them here to alert you to their existence and will try to visit as many as possible.
40 Maltby St
40 Maltby Street is a small wine bar and bottle shop that concentrates on natural wines. You can buy wines by the bottle to take home or you can sit and try some wines by the glass or bottle and choose some of the snacks that are available on Thursday and Friday evening and on Saturdays. They have some excellent producers in their line up including Saurigny and Griottes from Anjou, Azzoni and Calek from the Ardeche and Cotar and Klinec from Slovenia.
40 Maltby Street, London, SE1 3PA, Ph: 020 7237 9247
Telegraph Wine Bar
The Telegraph Wine Bar in Chicago has a very impressive array of natural wines - so much so that it has made us consider dropping into Chicago on our next trip to the States.
How could anybody not be impressed by a wine list that begins with three sparkling wines by the glass consisting of the fabulous Barmes-Buecher Cremant d'Alsace, the delightful, funky Causse Marines Preambulles and the Cotar Penina Crna from Slovenia!
The wine list then runs the full gamut of natural greats including the much-heralded Coenobium from Lazio, the very rare de Moor Plantation 1902 Aligote, the orange Vodopivec Amphoa Vitovska from Venezia Giulia and one of our favourites from the Jura, Michel Gahier's Les Grands Vergers. And if you want a real treat, splash out on a 1986 Weingut Leth Roter Veltliner Wagram in Austria or the even older 1981 Lopez de Heredia Vina Tondonia Rioja from Spain.
This is a brilliantly-curated wine list and we look forward to a visit in the near future.
2601 North Milwaukee Avenue Chicago, IL 60647
Webster's Wine Bar
Webster's Wine Bar is a serious venue for wine that boasts quite a few natural wines among their selection. Offerings such as the Tant-Mieux sparkling rose from Philippe Bornard, the 'Peteux' sparkling Savagnin from the lovely people at Domaine de l'Octavin, the Coenobium 'Rusticum' orange wine from Lazio, the amazing Panevino ‘Tankadeddu’ from Sardinia, the Antoine Arena Vermentino from Corsica, Michel Gahier Trousseau from Arbois in the Jura and Philippe Pacalet from Burgundy.
1480 W. Webster Chicago, IL 60614 Ph: (773) 868 0608. Open daily.
Rootstock Wine Bar
Rootstock has been set up by former staff of Webster's Wine Bar. They have a very good range of natural wines (think Alice and Olivier de Moor, Michel Gahier, Jean-Yves Péron and Franck Pascal). You can also have a meal here with offerings such as hangar steak or a beef burger, for example.
954 North California Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60622 Ph: (773) 292 1616. Open daily
Vin & Natur
This smart new place in Malmo has a very clever selection of natural wines including domaines such as Domaine du Moulin (Herve Villemade) and Noella Morantin from the Loire, Bérèche et Fils and Vouette & Sorbée from Champagne, Domaine Montanet Thoden, Domaine de Chassorney, Benoit Delorme and Alice & Olivier De Moor from Burgundy, Jean Marc Brignot from the Jura and Domaine du Perron from Bugey.
Södra Skolgatan 30 214 22 Malmö, Sweden Ph: 073-963 58 58
This restaurant, bar and bottleshop has one of the most impressive line-ups of natural wines that you are likely to find outside Paris.
The wines available include Domaine Hauvette Blanc de Blancs, the La Sorga Chat-Zen and O Mon Pais, Domaine Fanny Sabre Aligote and Sous La Velle, the Domaine de Souch Jurancon Sec, the lovely Bonnes Blanches from Rene and Agnes Mosse, Jean-Baptiste Senat's Les Arpettes and, for something sweet, the Causse Marines Grain de Folie Douce. They have an incredibly varied range that includes many producers little known outside the Languedoc.
5 rue de Girone, Montpellier, France Ph: 04 67 63 49 53
Bacchus et Ariane
We spend a lot of time in the 6th in Paris, but in all that time we never knew that this bar cum wine shop in the Saint Germaine market building served some excellent natural wines. On out forthcoming trip to Paris we will be sure to check it out more closely because we have become aware that they stock Barmes Buecher from the Alsace, Vouette et Sorbee Champagne, Foillard Morgon, Clos Rougeard, Domaine Chidane and a host of other stars of the natural firmament!
4 rue Lobineau, 75006, Paris. Ph: 01 46 34 12 94. Closed Monday
Sarfati (Libreria Utopia)
A tiny natural wine bar in Milan near the Porta Romana metro where you can find the products of many interesting natural winemakers such as the wonderful Guccione from Sicily, Jacques Beaufort from Champagne, Camillo Donati from Emilia-Romagna, Pierre Frick from Alsace, Jo Landron from the Loire and many more. They also serve snacks so it appears to be a great place to hang out.
You can even have the natural Loirette beer from France.
Viale Sabotino, 38 20135 Milano Tel: 02 5831 0687
Autour d'un Verre
Autour d'un Verre is a classic bar tucked away in the 9th arrondissement serving some very modern and very delicious wines. The offerings extend across the length and breadth of France with the Languedoc being represented by the amazingly pure wines of Axel Prufer, the Ardeche by Gilles Azzoni and Domaine de Mazel and Chablis by Alice and Olivier de Moor - not a bad selection, and we have only named a few.
21 rue de Trévise 75009 Paris, France
Metro : Grands Boulevards
Le Vin au Vert
Le Vin au Vert is a wine shop and bar in Grenoble. The lineup of natural wines is very impressive with offerings from Guy Blanchard, Alice and Olivier de Moor, Francis Boulard, Didier Barral, Le Temps de Cerise (Axel Prufer), La Sorga (Anthony Tortul), Sebastien Bobinet, Olivier Lemasson, Agnès & René Mosse, L’Oratoire Saint-Martin and Domaine Gramenon to name just a few on their list.
3 rue des Clercs, 38000, Grenoble +33 6 12 71 03 30
We look forward to our forthcoming visit to this wine bar that counts amongst its wine selections the elegant Loire reds from Domaine Mosse, a Savennières from guru Nicolas Joly, the beautiful Jasnières from Domaine de la Bellivière and the brooding Bandols from Château Sainte Anne.
Teglgardstraede 5, Copenhagen, Denmark, +45 3332 1777
L'Anima del vi
This Spanish cave a manger specialises in natural wines with a range of Spanish and French exemplars of the natural wine movement. The Ardeche is represented by Domaine de Mazel, Alsace by Bruno Schueller, Beaujolais by Jean Foillard, Karim Vionnet, Macel Lapierre and Philippe Jambon, Bordeaux by Paul Barre, Chateau Meylet and Clos de Mounissens, Chablis by Alice and Olivier de Moor, Vezelay by Domaine de la Cadette, Burgundy by Philippe Pacalet and Jean-Claude Rateau among others, Languedoc by Domaine du Matin Calme, Domain du Possible and Le Temps des Cerises, Provence by Domaine les Terres Promises, the Loire by Clos du Tue-Boeuf, Domaine Mosse, Domaine le Briseau, Mark Angeli and others and the Rhone by Domaine l'Anglore and Domaine Viret. Not a bad line up of the natural wine movement from France! We know less about the natural wine movement in Spain, but L'Anima del vi stocks wines from Antonio Sorolla, Pérez Caramés, Julia Bernet, Conde de Valicourt and Martin Alonso Etayo to name but a few.
Mariana Pineda, No 3, 08012 Barcelona, Spain Tel. 0034 933 683 612
On our most recent visit to Arles, which sits on the edge of Provence right up against the wild Camargue region, we noticed this wine bar smack bang in the centre of the old town. Our attention was grabbed because they had some of their wine selection chalked on a small black board and some of our favourite natural wines were featured. We didn't expect a small wine bar in Arles to feature the wines of Fanny Sabre, the maker of some great natural wines from Pommard, Savigny-les-Beaune, Beaune and the Bourgogne appellations. Her name was listed alongside other favourites such as Herve Villemade, Guy Breton, Georges Descombes, Domaine Gramenon and Marcel Richaud. The bar is open from Tuesday to Sunday due to its location next to a prime tourist area.
2, rue du Docteur Fanton 13200 Arles, France Tel: 04.90.52.00.65
Green & Blue
The wine list at this London establishment has some gems that make us want to visit. From Gaillac producers Domaine Causse Marines you will find their “Dencon” and their "Les Greilles" (made from Mauzac, Loin de L’oeil, Ondenc and Muscadelle), also the beautiful Cotes du Rhone wines from Domaine de l’Oratoire St Martin, the non-vintage Champagne from Cedric Bouchard ‘Inflorescence’ and the Domaine Milan ‘Le Grand Blanc’ from near the beautiful Provençal city of Saint Remy de Provence.
36-38 Lordship Lane, Dulwich, SE22 8HJ United Kingdom Tel. 8693 9250.
This wine bar in Nice is run by the people from La Part des Anges and hence serves a similar range of natural wines.
32 avenue de la République, Nice, France Tel. 04 93 26 90 17. Closed Sunday.
Sorgues is a sprawling town just behind the massive shopping precinct of Le Pontet on the northern outskirts of Avignon. It is not a charming town therefore it is not a place we have thought to look for interesting restaurants. The wine list at this restaurant, however, shows that you can never take anything for granted. All the big names are here Foillard, Thévenet, Lapierre, Breton, Overnoy, Ganevat, Eric Pfifferling, Domaine Valette, Château Rayas, Domaine Richaud and Domaine Frédéric et François Alary from Cairanne.
Avenue du 19 Mars 1962, 84700 Sorgues, France Tel. 04 90 39 11 02.
Bistro Vin Rouge
This place was brought to our attention when they started following us on Twitter. When we checked their wine list we were impressed to see star offerings such as a Cour Cheverny from Francois Cazin, the lovely Cendrillon from Domaine de la Garreliere, Edmond Vatan's thrilling Clos la Neore Sancerre, Jean-Paul Brun's white Beaujolais and Beaujolais l'Ancien, Jean Foillard's Cotes-du-Py from Morgon and the Cairanne from Marcel Richaud to name but a few.
2010 Hillsborough Road, Durham, North Carolina 27705. Tel. 919 416 0466
Caves 47 is a wine store in the Loire Valley city of Tours. It sells a range of the best natural winemakers including Herve Villemade (La Crope and Desire), Herve Souhart, Mark Angeli, Rene and Agnes Mosse, Clos du Tue Boeuf, Philippe Alliet, Pierre Breton, Nicolas Joly, Emile Heredia and l'Anglore.
47, avenue de la Tranchée, 47 37100 Tours Tel. +33 2 47 41 20 66
A restaurant in Brooklyn with a very good list of natural wines and dishes based on fresh produce. Wines such as Domaine Pierre Luneau's Muscadet, Bera from Piedmont, Thierry Puzelat's Touraine wines, Dard and Souhart Ardeche reds and Jean Paul Brun's fabulous white Beaujolais.
246 Dekalb Avenue, Brooklyn Tel 718 789 2778
This wine importer with a wine outlet in Amsterdam has many of the very best natural wines in their selection. They represent Philippe Bornard from the Jura, Pierre-Paul Zink from Alsace, Herve Villemade and Pascale Potaire from the Loire, a number of the very best from Beaujolais, Fanny Sabre and Thomas Pico from Burgundy, Herve Souhart from the Ardeche and many more. We look forward to visiting this store.
Eerste Helmersstraat 63 hs 1054 DC Amsterdam Tel 020 683 5980
The Punchdown proudly proclaims itself as a natural wine bar and the wine list confirms this assertion! This Oakland newcomer allows you to sip Tarlant Champagne by the glass along with Quattro Mani Tokai from Slovenia, Chateau Falfas from Bordeaux, Donkey and Goat Roussanne, Briseau Pinot from the Loire and the dark, brooding Clos Sigeur Malbec from Cahors. Seems like a good reason to jump on the BART and make the journey across.
2212 Broadway (Grand Ave.), Oakland Tel. 510 251 0100
Thirstbarávin is a new wine bar in Prospect Heights serving an interesting array of natural wines. It has been established by the owners of Thirst Wine Merchants.
629 Classon Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11238 Tel. 718 857 9227
Pause Wine Bar
There is little doubt that we will get to this wine bar soon as it is next door to one of our favourite places in the world, namely Zuni Cafe.
1666 Market St. (at Gough St. next to Zuni Cafe), San Francisco, Tel. 415 241 9463
This wine bar, restaurant and shop has an interesting selection of natural wines including those of Rene Mosse, Henri Milan, Les Terres Promises, Domaine de la Tournelle, Jean Charles Abbatucci, Le Casot des Mailloles and many more.
12A Newburgh St, London, W1F 7RR, Tel. 020 7287 8488